I have said it countless times before on Natural Adventures, and will unapologetically say it again, that some of the most satisfying rewards can be found when diverting course from the familiar. Yesterday, I switched up my spots a bit and decided to visit the Star and Garter, because I haven’t been there for a while. On arrival, I spotted a large mural down Brook Street, that I hadn’t been aware of. As I approached I felt the excitement rising, and was blown away by this magnificent piece by Sled One.
This morning I took a quick look at Sled One’s Instagram account, and it turns out he painted it back in August, which makes me feel a bit useless. The mural itself seems to be an eclectic mix of components slapped on the wall resembling a collage of memories. A cat, razor wire, a knight’s horse, some flowers and a merry-go-round, with a rather sinister body precariously lying horizontally on a seat. The stuff of dreams and nightmares.
There is a photorealism in this piece that I wouldn’t ordinarily associate with Sled One, as more commonly he paints cartoony surreal pieces. His talent, whatever the style, is immense. My favourite part of this mural has to be the cat, although the razor wire does add a sense of threat that is rather uncomfortable. What a privilege to stumble across this piece.
Something that can be always relied upon is that any piece, large or small, by Sled One will always ooze class. This recent work at the entrance to the tunnel is proof enough of that. I particularly like this piece because it came as a complete surprise.
When I first saw this, I thought that there might be a suggestion of Sepr involvement, because the character would fit the Sepr style, but the eyebrows give it away as a Sled One character. The chef skeleton is full of character movement, holding his hand in a gesture of culinary perfection, perfect. Another thing I love about Sled One’s work is that he slaps classy ‘ASK’ mega tags (After Skool Klub) all over the city, often without signature. Another notable piece from Sled One.
This is Sled One’s contribution to a recent paint jam along the long wall at Cumberland Basin. It is yet another outstanding example of his incredible artwork and creativity.
The beautifully painted, mischievous squirrel looks to be lining up a shot with his acorn and catapult. The acorns in the background splash are a nice touch, to round off the piece nicely. It is these subtle touches that often serve to lift a piece from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’.
The latest array of billboard pieces in Elton Street have been outstanding, and this special ‘outdoor gallery’ just seems to be getting better and better. The colour scheme has been replicated across all the pieces, and this one from Sled One is an absolute banger.
Sled One has created an apocalyptic scene in which a skeleton is bearing a canister on his back with some soil and a small plant. The canister is actually a spray can, and presumably Sled One is making a link between the life giving qualities of the natural environment and of spray-painting. The character is set in a scorched earth surrounding. Sled One’s paint work is absolutely outstanding and this is a really classy piece.
Even though the turnover of street/graffiti art in Moon Street is nothing like it used to be, it is still worth wandering down there from time to time, to pick up beauties like this one from Sled One. I think that the whole Stokes Croft area has become a bit of a graffiti wilderness, while it decides what impact the local gentrification has had on the sub-culture. Of course, many of the artists simply paint elsewhere, and there are many more of them in Bristol than there were only two or three years ago.
Sled One, however, has returned to Moon Street and painted a classic piece of writing, so typical of this talented artist. The letters spell out SLED, and the numeral ‘1’ completes his name. the design is balanced and well-proportioned and the fill colours contrast neatly with the black and gold patterned background. I imagine that Sled One probably knocked this one off in an hour or two, but he has managed to keep it utterly onm-point. Great work.
It is not only the quantity of graffiti and street art that is being painted in Bristol at the moment, but the outstanding quality of some of it that is quite mind-boggling, and you know that when Smak, Sled One and Ments get together that you are going to be in for a treat.
On the left of this triptych Smak has absolutely smashed out his letters with extraordinary class and style in what I can only describe as a very Smacky way, which I hope makes sense. Although quite well disguised, once you get your eye in you can clearly see the letters SMAK. Great colours and a confident piece.
A surreal and utterly bonkers elephant character by Sled One is in the middle section of this collaborative wall. Alongside 3Dom, Sled One is the leading character artist in Bristol and his weird creations are always something to look forward to. It is his details and textures, tones and depth that makes his work completely stand out from the crowd.
To the right is a fabulously etherial piece from Ments, who seems to reinvent his style on an annual basis while always maintaining an organic and rather abstract nature with his letters. This piece feels almost more like a canvas study than a piece of graffiti writing. Superb skills all round, this is a wonderful collaborative wall.
I believe that these arches at The Carriageworks are on borrowed time, as the developers of the site have plans to build retail outlets as part of the overall redevelopment of the site, so let’s make hay while the sun shines. Two of Bristol’s most recognised street artists, Sled One and 3Dom, have paired up to give these two arches a bit of a makeover.
On the left is yet another spellbinding piece from Sled One, featuring a skull-like character in a red hat next to a pond with a rather arrogant-looking duck swimming about. Sled One has created this surreal scene with such extraordinary detail and clarity. For me there is something of a retro feel about the piece, perhaps it is the colours or the overall way the elements in the water and foliage around the pond are presented, but it looks like it could be a poster from the 1950s with a surreal 2020s twist.
On the right hand arch 3Dom has painted an incredible dreamy piece where the main character, unlike anything we know or understand, is curled around the shape of the archway space. There is something most endearing about this smiley faced, reptile-humanoid creature, but look a little closer and there is something a little intriguing too. A love arrow runs through the character, although I’m not entirely sure what it signifies. I get a feeling that much of 3Dom’s work is about cherishing our beautiful Earth and a warning about its decline and losses in the natural world, he tells these stories through his ‘otherworldly’ characters almost as if warning us about the perils ahead. Of course they might simply be beautiful images without any hidden meaning, but I doubt it.
Like all of us, street/graffiti artists have birthdays, but sometimes they mark them in a way that isn’t possible for mere mortals like me. They have a paint jam and invite artist friends to paint a wall together – the results are nearly always outstanding, bringing different styles into a single place for a day. A recent birthday paint jam was held for Mena in Sparke Evans park and this was Sled One’s contribution.
I don’t know if it is just me, but Sled One’s pieces seem to be getting even more surreal and obscure, if that is at all possible. This outstandingly turned out piece features a skull smoking an outsize cigarette, with smiley tablets for eyes and purple hair. As always with Sled One’s work, it is the little details that augment the piece so well, such as the gorgeous flower in the hair, or the floating eyebrows. This is another masterpiece from Sled One.
The blue and yellow colours used in this piece give it away as another reference to the war in Ukraine. There is so much to like about this scene, by Sled One, painted alongside Smak, and it is typically full of fine detail and great composition, let alone the outstanding execution.
I have noticed that Sled One does enjoy painting cheese, and he has excelled himself with this cheese character, full of holes and a couple of cheeky mice. His work is always fantastical, combining characters with abstract shapes sprinkled with surrealism and always with outstanding results. I like that this piece references Ukraine, without being in your face, it demonstrates that there are so many ways to support the Ukrainians.
Some pieces simply ooze class, and this outstanding surreal artwork by Sled One is one of them. In my view, this is Sled One at his best, creating a fantastical and unusual scene using only spray paints and a brick wall canvass. Simply amazing.
The central part of a three piece collaboration (the rest to follow) features a baseball, but not any old baseball, no, this one has a mullet haircut, a bird beak, a mouse in his cap, a rather nasty looking baseball club, a spotty pair of boxer shorts all capped off with some comfortable slippers. Would anyone mind explaining to me what on earth is going on here? I don’t actually care too much, I just know that I love this piece a lot. Bravo!